AICorner OfficeExpert Opinion

Talent Acquisition: Top Seven Trends that Defined 2021


As another year of organizations pivoting their sustenance efforts comes to an end, there have been many lessons for business leaders and HR teams that have arisen from this journey. The workforce, which has truly been the ‘human capital’ of most organisations, has been a crucial aspect of moving forward in a turbulent professional arena.

Organizations need to keep adapting and adjust their hiring plans irrespective of their industry. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the key trends that have molded talent acquisition in 2021 and plan to adapt in coherence with these changes.

1 Digital as the Core

The pandemic provided an opportunity to organizations to identify and exploit opportunities within their business through a digital core. As such, organizations across the globe quickly began ramping up their tech teams and scouring the market for the best available digital talent out there.

A report by McKinsey & Co highlights that there is an estimated gap of 6 mn between demand and supply of digital talent across 8 countries including the US, China, India and parts of Europe. This means that the most sought after candidate pool is limited, and employers must move fast with competent offers to gain an edge in the race.

2 High demand for local talent

While the limelight was on remote working models and how this could massively impact workplace dynamics, there were certain roles that continued to demand a ‘work from site’ model to be followed. With international mobility coming to an absolute standstill, talent acquisition teams turned their attention to assessing the potential of local talent to fulfill such roles.

Both domestic and international travel restrictions have led to local talent becoming highly sought after. Hence, the demand and reliance on locally sourced resources have increased massively.

3 Emergence of border-talent pools

One of the biggest learnings that has come from the pandemic is that we can accomplish most tasks remotely without a critical drop in productivity or quality. A large number of organisations today are including flexible, remote and hybrid conditions in their employment policies.

Almost everyone has had a brief experience with remote work by now. Going forward, a demonstrated track of remote working will be an important consideration for talent acquisition teams.

4 Accelerated Virtual Hiring

When in person interviews came to a complete halt,virtual hiring became the go-to solution for most organisations around the world.

Virtual recruitment has clear benefits like allowing time flexibility to both employees and employers, saved costs for organisations and expansion of recruiters’ search parameters among others.

The increased interest of global players in setting up new offices, and thus hiring more employees has pivoted virtual hiring further. These players aim to hire quickly, in large volumes and save costs and virtual hiring is a holistic solution to achieve this.

5 Groundbreaking Salary Hikes

Although a majority of the workforce had experienced some effect of the pandemic, most have returned to work as their employers plan to move ahead at a fast pace. The higher demand especially for tech talent has pushed up salaries in the market. According to some reports, employers are making a beeline to acquire the top available talent offering hikes as high as 50% in some cases.

Today’ s talent demand surpassing supply by big margins translates into a candidate’s market where talent holds the upper hand. As such, employers are getting both competitive and innovative with compensation and benefit packages being offered.

6 An Unprecedented Dropout rate

One of the biggest challenges that companies are facing today is the high volume of Candidate dropouts. This has emerged as a common woe for talent acquisition and HR heads.

Candidate Dropouts happen because another offer is perceived to be of higher value by the candidate in question. In most cases it has been noticed that this value is monetary. Competing on that dimension alone is neither feasible nor advisable or sustainable. Some of the greatest pulls that any organisation can have is superior work content, work culture & freedom and a seamless Candidate Experience.

7 Talent Acquisition as a specialist job

Both technology and non-tech companies have plans to ramp up their tech workforce. These organisations have begun accelerating digital adoption efforts to bounce back and build resilience for upcoming disruptions.

As a result, in the ongoing battle for acquiring the top tech talent, the demand for experienced human resources professionals and specialist recruiters has gone up.

Outsourcing provides companies with an opportunity to quickly bring on board experts they wouldn’t be able to source otherwise, which provides a great edge.

(The author is Managing Director, APAC at Catenon and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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